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Formula 1 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix 2024

Verstappen fends off Norris threat for resounding Imola win

Max Verstappen bagged his 59th career win and his fifth grand prix victory of the 2024 Formula 1 season at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix from Imola.

Verstappen Qualifying Imola
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen has taken his 59th career race victory, prevailing at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The Dutchman commanded the race from start to finish in a decisive response to the threat posed by McLaren throughout the weekend.

The end of the grand prix saw Norris close up to the rear of Verstappen in a battle for the lead, but the three-time world champion held on for victory.

After winning his maiden grand prix in Miami two weeks ago, Norris was forced to settle for second place this time around.

The podium was completed by Charles Leclerc, who fended off the second McLaren of Oscar Piastri for the final spot in the top three.

Result Race - Emilia Romagna

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Opening stint

At the race start, Norris appeared to get the stronger start of the duo before Verstappen held on in the second phase to stay in the lead through the first corner.

Verstappen pulled out his gap to Norris to over two seconds in the opening 10 laps while Piastri attacked the Ferraris in his bid to score a podium.

On lap 10, Alex Albon’s race was undone after a botched pit stop resulted in a loosely fitted tyre, forcing him to slow his pace as he returned to the pit lane - the incident resulted in a 10-second time penalty for Albon.

A handful of laps later Piastri upped the pressure on Carlos Sainz in their battle for fourth place, but the Spaniard was able to hold on into the opening corner.

Further down the grid, RB pulled off a successful undercut with Yuki Tsunoda, who pitted one lap before Nico Hulkenberg in a fight at the lower end of the points.

Perez, who started the race on the Hard tyre from 11th on the grid, lost several seconds after taking a trip through the gravel at the penultimate corner following a front left tyre lock-up.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Pit stop phase

Russell became the first of the top six drivers to pit for Hard tyres on lap 22, with his rivals following him in shortly after.

Norris pitted one lap later but crucially dropped behind Perez. He followed the Mexican driver for one lap before overtaking into the first corner.

Piastri and Verstappen made their respective pit stops on lap 24 and 25, with the Ferraris and Mercedes of Hamilton opting to go longer.

Leclerc peeled in on lap 26 before Hamilton, on ageing tyres, suffered a mistake and ran through the gravel at Turn 12.

Hamilton came into the pits on the following lap, as did Sainz, who found himself several seconds behind Piastri and conceding fourth place.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Run to the finish

Perez was the final driver to make his mandatory pit stop as he swapped to the Medium tyre on lap 38 before recovering to eighth place.

Up front, Verstappen came under pressure in the final 10 laps as Norris increased his pace and closed up behind the three-time champion.

Having taken several seconds out of the Red Bull driver, Norris pushed Verstappen all the way to the chequered flag, but his effort ultimately fell short.

Piastri, who was the second-fastest driver during qualifying before being hit with a three-place grid penalty, held on to fourth place while Sainz had to settle for fifth.

A relatively quiet day for George Russell saw him peel into the pits for fresh tyres 10 laps before the end for fresh Mediums, taking the fastest lap before the chequered flag in seventh, behind team-mate Hamilton.

Despite having fresher and softer tyres compared to those ahead, Perez couldn't make inroads to attack the Mercedes' ahead, walking away from the weekend with four points.

Lance Stroll was ninth while Tsunoda secured the final point on offer in 10th place.

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